Friday, August 29, 2008

Wacko is 50.

In case you got all caught up in McCain's choice of the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin as his VP, I'm here to help you with some of the "other" news. Like this article very near our vacation land in Cancun. Yowza. Thankfully it was the "largest single group of beheadings in recent years" in I guess they have many beheadings, but not THIS many. Good Lord.

You think you're safely driving along in your Chevy SUV and a bug hits your windshield. Next thing you know, your SUV is on fire!!! Read all about it.

It seemed almost unbelieveable to me read this story, but I guess it's true. Wow...50?? Really. Geesh, I'm starting to feel old.

Cubs won again!!! Another great game 3-2 over Philly. They have almost no chance of NOT making the playoffs now. They have a 10+ game lead for the wild card (6+ for the division) with only 27 to play. It would take a monumental collapse that dwarf all other collapses for them to not make the playoffs. Plan your schedules accordingly (i.e. I'm unavailable for most of October now!!).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On the Caleb Hanie bandwagon!!!

Yes, if you're a Bears fan you know of whom I speak. He's the third string QB for the Bears and might not even make the team, but the dude has WAY more talent than Grossman or Orton. "But he plays against third string defenses Joe!" Yeah, and he has third string offensive players around him (which, because the Bears are so bad, is like everyone else's fourth string!!). The dude is money throwing the ball with one pick on a ball he delivered a tiny bit late and the DB made a good play. He also didn't get credit for hitting a wide open Mark Bradley (which Grossman didn't do by the way) because of a holding call. Plus he can run and knows when to run!! If they put him on the practice squad, he'll get picked up by another question.

The Cubs game was also on tonight so it was a big dilemma as to which to watch. Fortunately ARam hit a grand slam to win the game for the Cubbies. They are now 34 games over .500 at 84 -50.

Friday I head to Michigan for the Great Lakes National Tournament with 28 teams. We've played four of them before, one who won the Rockford tournament two weeks ago and beat us 12-9. Hopefully we'll play well enough to win a bunch of games!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Meniere's Strategy Update

I've written about my ear disease in the past which has caused some dizziness and near vertigo. It really stepped up a notch in badness earlier this Summer/late Spring causing almost a complete lack of hearing in the ear. So I began researching options and someone posted on my blog about the Shea Ear Clinic in Memphis.

So I wrote the clinic and found out about the procedure they perform, intratympanic gentamycin injections, essentially shooting steroids and such through the eardrum into the inner ear. It can cause some hearing loss, even total hearing loss, but I'm basically there already so it's hardly a concern for me.

But Memphis is a long way to go for the procedure which takes place on an outpatient basis over three days. It also means that I'd need to have someone go with me as short term dizziness and other complications are possible. Finding a local alternative would be preferred of course and so I started looking by checking with my orthopaedic sports doc for a reference. The doctor they recommended, who by all accounts is a great doctor, isn't a big fan of the procedure but has performed it six times. That doesn't seem like a lot of experience to me, but I think he would be a good option for an initial opinion and might have some alternative solutions so I think I'm going to see him first.

It seems smart for me to talk to a couple of doctors and clinics to see what people recommend. You never know!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Softball struggles

The 7:30 a.m. breakfast today killed me.....ugh. Never again. In fact, I may not even go to breakfast meetings at all anymore. It's just not worth it to me!

Since the team didn't really need me in our Crystal Lake tournament last weekend (they were eliminated early on Saturday), I was able to go golfing last minute with T-Rex Tim instead and took the weekend off of softball. I was looking forward to playing two games tonight which might offer some good practice and some swings. Unfortunately I was dead tired after a breakfast meeting and then work during the day with a trip through rush hour traffic. My bat was pretty slow and I was something like 3-10 which is horrible for me. The lighting at this particular facility (in Arlington Heights), is pretty terrible when you're in the field (it's not an excuse for my poor hitting) and at one point a lefty hit a ball to the left of me at third which I never saw. Since I didn't know it was coming at me, I headed for the third base bag since runners were on. Since the ball was on the other side of me from the base, it looked like I was running away from the ball. Ugh. It was that kind of night.

On the positive side, I did stop on the way home at Home Depot and picked up my new shower head and temperature control for my shower. I stopped at the Home Depot near Addison and 90, which is actually pretty nice. They have a much bigger selection than the lousy branch near me on Halsted. At least I know now!!

Time to rest up for more work before preparing for the weekend trip to Sterling Heights, MI.

I had some more interesting stuff to write, but forgot to write it down and now I'm too tired to remember!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Good day of work.

Had plenty of work to do today with el supremo in town and it was rewarded with a nice dinner paid for by the client in Frankfort. We had some good interaction with this client and I think they feel like they are getting good value from us.

Fall like weather in Chicago today again....guess it is indeed that time of year. Still, after such a short summer, I wouldn't mind having a little bit more warm weather.

The NY Giants of last year are like the 2005 White Sox: an under talented team which over-achieved together and gelled at the right time. Don't be surprised if they finish in third place in their division this year. The White Sox crashed in 2006 and I expect similar results from the Giants this year. Sorry Giants fans!!

Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow.....not too jacked about that!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Lockjaw setting in??

Yesterday I went golfing at Big Run, just down the street from it's more well known neighbors, Cog Hill and Ruffled Feathers. For $69 it's not a bad course at all and some of the greens are absolutely insane. I shot a 40-43 for an 83, which was pretty good based on not having enough sleep and playing for the second day in a row.

Today I went to church in the morning which, like my bathroom, continues on with it's renovations. They are moving to the side areas of the church now instead of the main aisle for painting as they have completed the tallest part of the church ceiling now. It looks great! I understand they are going to light some previously innocuous statues as well. Should look pretty cool.

After running a TON of errands, I headed over to poster-Stef and her husband's (John the Armenian) house to have dinner with el supremo who is in town for the next few days for work. John cooked bison steaks on the grill from Whole Paycheck and some awesome locally grown corn. We also had a very tasty salad tossed together by Stef. I brought the beer. I know, it doesn't sound like I really contributed, but I'm going to be helping Stef in her job search so this it sort of like paying half up front for a contractor's services. Ha!! Stef also made some kick-ass chocolate chip cookies....mmmmmmm and I was able to sneak some home too. Hopefully meal pictures from el supremo are on their way.

So about two+ weeks ago, at the Kansas City game, I was throwing the football around with Benny Baseball and his buddy. At one point I turned to break away from Benny or he turned or something and he basically punched me in the jaw (accidentally) pretty hard. Fortunately after four years of martial arts training where guys are intentionally trying to punch you in the jaw, I was not very phased. The next day I don't even remember it hurting at all and certainly not that weekend while playing softball. Suddenly, about three days ago, my jaw needs to "warm up" to chew and it's kind of uncomfortable. I wouldn't say it hurts, but it's definitely uncomfortable and feels "out of line". Not sure what to do about it or how long to wait, so any suggestions are welcome!!

Three days of work coming up, so I'm lucky to have gotten my golf in!! Big softball tournament in Sterling Heights Michigan next weekend. Not sure how many teams will be there yet, but probably 50-60. I'm not sure if we need to finish top 10 or not, but it's always nice!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Football and Charity.

Ok, so is acting weird so I can't control the comment placement and picture locations like I normally do. The first two pictures are from the Bears tailgate on Thursday night, if that wasn't obvious. The first picture is Andy "the sausage king", his gal Meaghan and another softball buddy George. The second picture includes what appears to be a very happy and maybe even sober, Lakeview Coffee Joe.

Here's my foursome for Friday's golf outing for Family Rescue. Feel free to go to the link and donate!! LVCJ, Steve-a-rino, Danny-D and Mr. D (he's 70!). We successfully defended our Family Rescue golf outing championship with a sterling 19 under par 53. We normally shoot somewhere between 18 and 21 under.

Here is the official winning scorecard along with the cart nameplates. Just thought the names were an interesting addition.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Went to the Bears game tonight and forgot to hunt down the elusive Amy Freeze. Damnit.

More to come tomorrow. I'm drunk and barely awake!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Protecting your ID

With the amount of driving I've done recently, I've heard several commercials and stories related to identity theft protection. For someone like me, it's probably something that I should investigate. So I did and thought it would be interesting to pass along the information to you. If you currently subscribe to any of these services, please comment and let me know what you think.

One of the more well known companies in the business is Lifelock. This is the guy who puts his SSN everywhere and dares you to steal his identity essentially. What most people don't realize is that you need a whole lot more info on someone than just their SSN to steal their identity. It's a good start, but you can do almost as much damage with your electronic banking login name and password. Anyway, Lifelock, like most of the services does a few things that you can do yourself. First, call 888-567-8688 to opt out of pre-approved credit card applications for 5 years. If you want to do it permanently, you can go to their website.

Second, you can contact any of the major credit reporting companies (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) and put on a 90 day fraud alert which means that if any company checks your credit before issuing you a credit card, they are supposed to call you to get your permission first. The only problem is that you have to renew it every 90 days and there is supposed to be some reason, but you can make anything up (or use the recent millions of names and information stolen from TJ Maxx transactions or names that were sold by Countrywide Financial employees). The three credit reporting agencies are all supposed to share fraud alert and other information, so you shouldn't have to contact all of them.

Those two things will help a great deal. Making a list of all of your credit cards, their numbers, and the 800 numbers of the issuer is another good idea. You shouldn't keep this on your computer however. Just write them down and stick them in a drawer or lockbox somewhere. This is handy if you just lose your wallet or purse!

Finally, you can get a free credit report from any of the credit agencies once a year and you should...just to see what's going on.

Here are the other identity theft prevention companies and a short comparison I found on the net:

Identity Theft Protection Services Quick Comparison Chart
Service Name Cost/Month Annual Fraud Alerts Credit Monitoring Free Trial

Identity Truth $9.99/mo. $99.99/year yes yes no
LifeLock $10.00/mo. $99.00/year yes yes no
TrustedID $10.00/mo. $99.00/year yes yes no
Identity Guard $12.99/mo. $129.95/year yes yes no

Those are the biggees. Seems like it might be expensive until you hear the stories about people spending literally YEARS and hundreds of hours trying to get their credit straightened out. Ugh.

The Bears play the 49ers in the all important third preseason game where the starters will probably play the first half. I'll be tailgating there early and hope to get to the southwest corner of the stadium to see Amy Freeze from Fox in person!! We'll see if I remember.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ultimate Respect

The other night something very rare happened in a baseball game. It was the ultimate sign of respect, in my opinion, that can happen during an actual game. A recently prolific hitter(he played in 90 games last year as a rookie) for the Texas Rangers, Josh Hamilton, was walked by the Tampa Bay Rays manager WITH THE BASES LOADED. Yep, they decided giving up only one run for sure was better than the prospect of pitching to him and potentially giving up multiple runs. It worked out as the pitcher struck out the next hitter to win the game 7-4. So think about that, the manager Joe Maddon decided he'd rather let one guy score and bring the potential winning run to the plate (if he hit a homerun) than to pitch to Hamilton. Wow. In recent history, only Barry Bonds has been walked with the bases loaded. In fact, it's only happened five other times in baseball history. Here's the list:

1881Abner DalrympleChi. White StockingsBuffalo Bisons
1901Napolean LajoiePhila. A’sChi. White Sox
1928Del BissonetteBrooklyn RobinsNY Giants
1944Bill NicholsonChi. CubsNY Giants
1998Barry BondsSF GiantsDiamondbacks
SundayJosh HamiltonRangers Rays

Monday, August 18, 2008

Liar Loans

Today on the radio I heard an advertisement from Townstone Financial, a mortgage company. Their ad says, "It's not the interest rate, it's the payment." In light of the second wave of defaults hitting (really Alan Zibel of the Associated Press, only the second wave??), it seems like the industry has learned little if they allow this kind of advertising to take place. The liar loans of the past focused on no documentation and low payments with whatever interest rate or fees, because all they want you to do is pay the interest or minimal principal for a few years. Meanwhile, what you are not paying in principal or waived interest gets tacked onto the principal balance and then the loan resets in three years and you're screwed because your payment, which is no longer interest only, triples. Nice. Hopefully these monkeys will go the way of Countrywide, American Home Mortgage and Indymac. I also hope the government doesn't bail out the bastards.

Kyle Orton has been named the Bears starting quarterback in case you missed it. I'm happy it's not Rex, but it probably matters little. The Bears did nothing to enhance their offensive line (draft pick is out hurt and they needed three not one), QB position or WR.

But I looked back to last year and I wonder....on offense are we better or worse? Cedric is gone and Forte is here. That's an upgrade. The offensive line is basically the same...sadly. Our wide receivers are worse since Berrian's gone. But Olson will have another year of experience at tight end. Hester is going to be used more on offense as well. I think our offense, overall, might actually be better this year!! Our defense was banged up early and we still went 7-9. Hmmm, makes me think that with a weak schedule, maybe we could do a little better than that. Interesting.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cicada Killer Wasps

Here are the reigning Iron Workers MDA fundraiser champions! Disco Lopes, me, Jumpin' Joe and Johnny Bags.
We'll look to repeat next year. Actually, we had so much fun, as we always do when we get together, we're going to plan on going golfing at an outing of some sort once a month.

As I mentioned, this weekend I was in Rockford for a softball tournament. It was the Class D North State Championship and had 56 teams participating. We went 4-2 and tied for 9th place overall. It's interesting.....this softball stuff. We lost our first game, won four straight over two days and then lost before cracking the top 8 teams. If we "got off the bus" hitting better, we would have had such an easier road. The first team we played wasn't anything special (they went 2-2 and finished in 17th place), but what a difference the loss made. It meant that if we won two more games on Saturday, that we had to play every hour on the hour starting at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Our third game on Sunday was against the eventual tournament winners who hadn't played yet on Sunday. It was pretty warm, even at noon, and I can't help but think that if we didn't already have to play two relatively close games, our 12-9 loss might have turned out differently. Oh well.

Here are some interesting pictures of the Cicada Killer Wasp nests in my yard! They are all over....guess no one told them the cicadas were here last year.

This will give you some sense of the magnitude of the nest. I believe there is only one per hole.

Here's a close up. Look at how much dirt was excavated!!!

Here's one of the other nests.

And a few more!

Look at all of that dirt! When do they find the time to move all of it?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ruling the Iron Workers Union

Last year at around this time, I entered the Iron Workers Union charity golf outing to raise money for MDA. Jumpin' Joe was my playing partner and we didn't fair well, but I did win longest drive and a basket of booze in the raffle. Sweet memories!

This year, Jumpin' Joe again invited me to play along with a couple of mutual buddies of ours. I should be able to post a picture by Sunday. While there was no longest drive competition this year, our foursome did win low score with -7. The prize? A Sony dvd player! Sweet. I didn't win anything in the raffle, but I did spend a bunch of money at the silent auction. We had a great day.

After everyone left, the four of us played "bags" underneath a parking lot lamp post....truly a Norman Rockwell scene. While I've been a long time opponent of the white trash game, I caved since they needed a fourth. The last three games (after going winless for three straight) my teammate and I scored 34 unanswered points for three straight slaughter rule (11-0) victories. Nice.

Now I'm in Rockford for a softball tournament on Saturday and hopefully, Sunday. Good luck to us!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm trademarking a new word: "Phelpsian"

The best part of Phelpsian, is that I don't even have to define it. You KNOW what it means! The dude just picked up gold medal #6 with yet another world record. just can't say anything else other than wow.

It's almost the start of the football season which means it's also almost FANTASY football time!! My league's draft is next Tuesday so today I drew the drafting order today and I select 9th out of 12 teams. Damnit!!

Today on the radio they were comparing Eli Manning to....wait for it.....wait for it.....yesss, Rex Grossman. Unfuckingbelievable. "They're numbers, prior to the last four games of the year last year, were very comparable." So what? Let's see how they DIFFER!
1) Eli has a father who played in the NFL.
2) Eli has a brother who continues to excell in the NFL.
3) Eli is 6'4".
4) Grossman sucks.
'Nuff said.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why not just get water?

When I travel around for softball or to my folks' place in Michigan, I don't always eat real healthily. Sure, when I GET there I have that option, but while driving there, it's not as easy. So today I decided that while at Wendy's getting my chicken sandwich, that I would get water to go with to continue the healthier eating. No fries.

Ok, knowing my readership as I do, I knew that SOMEONE (I'm looking at you djf and tim) would look up the nutritional content of a Wendy's Homestyle Chicken sandwich. So, I figured I would do it myself. OMG!!! Holy shit!!! It's ridiculous!!! 16 grams of fat?!? 140 calories from fat?!? Holy shit! 1120 mg of sodium?!? Homestyle Chicken sandwiches are now OFF my list. Wow.

A 1/4 lb single is worse, but with less salt. Ugh. A medium fry? About the same as the burger. Damnit!! A small chili isn't too bad, but a lot of salt still, 830 mg.

My decision to go to water instead of Light Lemonade? Saved 10 calories. Shit. Though if I were to get a Dr. Pepper, it would have saved me 170 calories.

Wow, I have to rethink this Wendy's decision. Let's check McDonald's:
I have to get two regular burgers to stave off hunger and so the figures work out about the same: 18 grams of fat, 500 calories and 1140 mg of salt. Ugh. Fries? 19 grams of fat for medium fries, 380 calories and surprisingly only 270 mg of salt. Hell even a sugar free vanilla iced coffee has 11 grams of fat in it. Ugh. What the hell??

KFC extra crispy chicken breast? 27 grams of fat. Original recipe stills has 21 grams of fat. Per peice!!! Geesh. No more fast food at all for me!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Dejesus Freak entry

Special note to dejesus freak, who will be playing in his Beatles ensemble publicly down on Michigan avenue between 11:30 and 1:30 on Wednesday....good luck!!!

In honor of djf coming out to see me play guitar (pathetically) on Monday, this entire entry will be dedicated to him!

One of the two teams he's currently cheering for openly, the other being the Cubs, is the Tampa Bay Rays. No longer the Devil Rays by the way, which I think is splitting hairs. The other day they set a FRANCHISE RECORD for most wins in a SEASON. They did this in early August! There's still almost two months of baseball to be played and they already have more wins in a season than they've ever had before. That's cool. In very Cub like fashion however, they just suffered two major player injuries which could derail the season for them. Currently they are in first place, holding off the Boston Red Sox. They need to be healthy though to win the division.

Finally, if you go back to my Bears/Chiefs entry, Ms. Freeze posted again! Whoo-hoo! I'm now on a mission to meet her face-to-face. Not sure if I can get to the southwest corner of the stadium or not after the game, but I might be able to get there....we'll see. How does this relate to djf? She mentions him in her comment as he has posted as her, fraudulently, on this blog.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Closer to tile.....I mean "fine"

Being a bit tired from the softball this weekend, I struggled to be too productive today. So I made a list. I'm much better at accomplishing things when I work off of a list. Everything from "call so and so" to "email so and so" to "finalize this" to "check on that" goes on the list. In addition to my work items, I needed to try and finalize a tile for my guest bathroom.

What I opted for, though it's not completely final, is a terra cotta type of tile on the floor with an off white tile for the walls. The terra cotta should go well with the bricks and wood textures and colors of the condo. I'm hoping the contrast won't be too dramatic between the walls and the floor by keeping the texture the same but altering the color.

What do you think folks? Clearly I'm not talented in this area.

Tonight was my last Guitar 1 Repertoire class and we performed Tom Petty's Mary Jane's Last Dance, a song which I had never actually heard on the radio or tv until this weekend on the softball field. That's right, during our game! For some reason, they play music during the games from the field house in Crystal Lake and during our second game on Sunday they played the song. Playing third base, I turned to the shortstop and said, "I'm playing this song for my guitar class on Monday!" He promptly told me to "F@#$%#& pay attention to the game." A little rude I thought.

Anyway, special thanks to dejesus freak who came out to see my performance tonight, or at least was in the neighborhood and stopped in. He was kind enough to say we sounded good, and I'm sure the group did, but I was pretty terrible unfortunately. I can sing, but I just didn't practice enough and I'm a little slow anyway. Oh well, I'll keep playing, but I'm going to take a break from classes for a month or two. With softball travel coming up and the Bears season kicking in, my practice time will be a bit limited.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

On Second Thought......

First, happy 9th birthday to my niece, Sommer!!! Yayyyy!!!!

Our softball team went 1-2 again today against tough competition. We were trailing 8-5 in the seventh (and last inning) prior to giving up 12 in the top of the 7th to lose 20-5 to a team a division level above us. The second game, also against a team a level above us, we held off to win 16-15, after going into the last inning with only a two run lead. They hit a homerun to pull within one but that was it. Our final game we lost 8-3 to a team at our level that we've beaten many times before. We went scoreless with the bases loaded two or three times that game though.

My personal highlight was hitting a curving line drive to right which the right fielder dove for and missed, allowing me to tally an inside-the-park homerun. As an aside, I've never hit a homerun at any level of baseball or softball that wasn't an inside-the-park homerun. Someday.....

Below is an email that I sent out to my Bears brethren on April 15. After reprinting the message, I'll comment on adjustments:

The schedule is out. Joe's early take:

At Indy Loss
At Carolina Win?? Make an argument either way
Tampa Win?? Make an argument either way
Philly Win
At Detroit Win
At Atlanta Win
Minnesota Loss
Bye eke out a victory
Detroit Win
Tennessee Win
At GB Win Though I wish this game was earlier in the season with Rodgers at QB.
At St. Louis Win
At Minn Loss yeah, they'll sweep us.
Jags Loss
Saints Loss
Packers Win otherwise the season would be lost!
At Texans Win for a playoff spot

So if we sweep GB, then we have 10 wins, provided I split the two early season questions with Carolina and Tampa. So anywhere from 9 to 11 wins is pretty reasonable and should be good enough for the playoffs. Imagine if we had a QB, RB or WR?????

Ok, now I have to make some changes. Our starting left tackle just had surgery and no answer at QB or WR seems to be forthcoming. Now I have to think the Philly game at home is probably a loss too and the game at Carolina doesn't look promising. If we can sweep the Packers with Favre (we gave them 2 of their 3 losses last year), we can beat them with Rodgers at QB. So now I think the range of possible outcomes is 7 to 9 wins. Vegas has the over/under of wins for the Bears at 8. If our defense stays healthy and we find a way to make the offensive line work, or pick someone up, we could get to 9 wins.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Softball and Bathroom update

Am spending the weekend in Crystal Lake playing in one softball tournament on Saturday and another tournament on Sunday. Both tournaments are against teams in higher divisions than us. Our first game today we lost something like 18-7 to a team that was absolutely better than us. They had 8 guys at least who could hit a home run whenever they wanted to do it. The rules were different today, again, where you could hit 8 home runs without a penalty. These guys had a 14-7 lead in the seventh and the next four guys up hit solo home runs to make it 18-7 and induce the slaughter rule. They were good.

The next team we played was a level above us, but we beat them in 11 innings 11-9!! Normally our games are 7 innings, so it was like a game and a half!

It must have taken something out of us as we couldn't hit at all the next game. In fact, the other pitcher retired our first 13 hitters in a row!! That's right, a perfect game through 4 1/3 rd innings in softball!!! Unbelieveable. We ended up losing 8-1 to a team at our level....crap. I was 5 for 8 until the last game when I went 0 for 3 to put me sub-.500 on the day. Again, crap.

Time for an update on the bathroom!! Here are some pictures. Tile is the next thing for me to pick out.

The framed out window. Actually, there has been more progress than this too, so I need new pics!

Another window picture.

The main exhaust fan in the room. The glass block window is at the bottom of the picture so I guess I should have rotated it.

This is the exhaust fan IN THE SHOWER! Very excited by it. Combined with the other exhaust fan, there shouldn't be any steam in the bathroom during a shower. AND the fan has a light attached.

Another picture of the shower exhaust fan.

Just a picture of the basic framing for future reference.

Oh, I DID have a picture of the more recent progress. The ceiling drywall is in and the exhaust soffit has been finished in this picture. So this is at the top of the glass block window.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Bears Chiefs Preseason

Had our first Bears tailgate of the year yesterday. The game started at 7 and I left at 4 with the car packed. Surprisingly, there was a lot of food and beer even though it was supposed to be a "mild" tailgate. I'm just not sure a mild tailgate is possible when Benny Baseball is involved.

On the menu were 1/2 lb. burgers from the deli, Johnsonville Brats, pretzels and Doritos. Benny always brings hot dogs, Best Koshers. He swears by them. So you can see many of the normal dishes were absent.

I can't even talk about the game or the Bears as our first round pick just had surgery so our season is screwed. With him on the offensive line, I thought we had a chance to do something offensively. That's no longer the case. Anyway, that just gets my blood pressure jumping....

One thing about pre-season games, hot women everywhere! Why?? Think about it: normally these women don't want to go when the weather is cold, so that points to the pre-season. Second, guys don't want to give up their regular season games to their girlfriends or wives, so that points to the pre-season too. Throw in a beautiful day and there you go. I've always brought my significant others with me as Dogbrian and MWrigley can attest. Fortunately they had an interest!

The set up. Very sunny day.

Benny Baseball, with the cooler, and his buddy Erin...Aron...Aaron...not sure how you spell his name...good guy they approach my set up from across the parking structure.

The guests...from left: Aaron's bro Chester, Benny, Aaron and Chris the Principal (he's a junior high Principal in the burbs).

Two women that Benny made me post a picture of. Just an example of the hotties there, though this picture is bad.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


I'm beat after the game, so check back during the day tomorrow for my update. I'm just too tired right now to write (thanks for catching that Stef!).....and a little tipsy!

I do want to mention that the beautiful Amy Freeze, Fox News Queen of all that is weather, did a weather report from the 10 yard line after the game, right across the field from one set of my seats!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Worst round of golf.....ever!

This a picture of the course signage.

A beautiful day on the course.

Good Lord was I horrible on the golf course today. To rub salt in the wounds of my errant shots, we finished with a net 61 while the winner was net 59 and six teams were at net 60. I'm worth at least two shots!!! Today however, I fear that I contributed nothing or maybe one shot. Ugh. Not only were my shots errant, the greens were the fastest greens I've ever played on. Twice I hit balls that started at one end of a 30+ yard green and the ball ended off the other end. Unbelievable.

Very tired now, but I just heard that the Jets landed Favre for a draft choice. That's weak. Sorry Tim, but the Bills have to deal with him now!! But ONE draft choice for Favre?? That's just dumb. You can't tell me the Bears weren't offering more than that. If they weren't, they should have been!!!

Long day at the ballyard(s)

Big sports entry today because I was at two sporting events. In another scheduling oddity, both the Cubs and Sox are in town on the same day (actually several days this week) so I went to the Cubs/Astros game at 1:20 and then hit the Sox/Tigers game at 7:11. Since they changed the Red Line several years ago, you don't have to switch trains at all to get from one stadium to the other. Good fun!!

Tomorrow, golf!

I really want to talk about what everyone else in sports is talking about: Brett Favre. Even if you're not into sports all that much I bet that you have heard about SOMETHING going on up north of our border. Here's the deal:
-Favre hast started for Green Bay for like 20 years, ok it's actually 17.
-Last year, Favre was runner up to the NFC MVP award and led the Packers to a 13-3 record and the playoffs.
-Favre is a first ballot hall of famer.
-Aaron Rodgers was drafted by the Packers in the first round (24th over all) in 2005 (when the Bears tood Cedric Benson with the 4th overall pick) out of California with the thought of him being Favre's replacement.
-Favre retired at the end of last year.
-Aaron Rodgers has done nothing yet as a QB while waiting for Favre to miss a game or retire.
He could be great. He could suck. Hard to tell.
-Favre came OUT of retirement and wanted to start for the Packers again.
-Packers only want him as a backup and so offered him $20-$25million to stay retired.
-Favre showed up at training camp after being reinstated by the league.
-Favre is fine with being traded, but would prefer to play for the Vikings who are in the Packers division (and Bears).
-The Vikings would easily be the best team in the NFC with the addition of Favre at QB, the only position they are missing on offense at first blush.
-The Packers want to trade him to the Jets or Tampa Bay, both out of division and much weaker teams and they don't play the Packers twice this year, though they do happen to play Tampa Bay.
-The team that he would help the most is the team that should offer the most for him, which is the Vikings.

What a dilemna for the Packers. Favre will be a huge distraction to Rodgers and the team if he practices and competes for the starting job (which he should be given, since Rodgers hasn't done squat ever). It's also a nightmare if they trade him within the division and he plays and beats the Packers twice a year until he re-retires. It's also a problem if Rodgers turns out to be terrible, even if the Packers do trade Favre to a non-division team. Next year, Rodgers will be a free agent and the Packers really don't know what they have in him and hence don't know if he's worth re-siging or not. Not good. But Favre led the team to a 13-3 record just last year. Seems like you go with the guy you know, if you think you can win this year. If not, trade Favre to whomever will give you the most. I think Minnesota would give a #1 and #2 next year for him. Those would be picks #30ish and #60ish. Not that much really. It's almost like a second round and third round.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Say good night Gracie.

If the world came to an end last night, my last beer would have been a Newcastle. I think I'm going to start living my life with that kind of thought in mind: if I die in the next 5 minutes, what would my last "insert noun here" be? Of course, that's sadly unrealistic, but I might be able to do it with beer. At a baseball game though, it could be hard. Sure the chances of dieing at a baseball game are remote, but it's possible: stray foul balls, broken bats, it's a virtual battlefield.

Last night a severe thunderstorm ripped through Chicago, powerful enough to set off the air raid sirens. Of course I was happily plucking away in my guitar class (playing Mary Jane's Last Dance by Tom Petty ironically enough) oblivious to the torrential weather going on outside. Finally, we were evacuated to the basement and played some other song down there as a group.
After class, I arrived to a darkened home (and block for that matter). Since it was late and I was tired, I just checked for damage and water leakage around the house, found none and went to bed. In the 15 years that I've lived in the building, the power has never stayed off all night, though it has gone out several times. This morning I woke up to a crazy, pulsating buzzing sound. After determining that it was a further deterioration of my hearing due to Meniere's Disease, I sought the source of the noise. It seemed to be coming from near the bed, but nothing was "on" of course as the power was still out. Though my Boze Radio/Alarm Clock was without power, it did have a working battery back up, so while the time wasn't displayed, the alarm was still working! It wasn't the radio alarm that I'm used to, hence my confusion, but it did wake me up. Thank goodness....wouldn't want to be late for work when I have a great excuse.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Some pretty damn good walleye.

If you live down near Springfield Illinois or if you're passing through down I-55, stop off at the Sangamon Road exit, number 100. Just west of the highway is a bar called The Fieldhouse. Three interesting things about The Fieldhouse: 1) they have a beer garden that I'm sure is rivaled by no one in Springfield, but it's not apparent. I've been there twice and didn't even notice it until I was leaving the second time! There's a band stage, outdoor bar, seating....just awesome.

2) Their pizza is for shit. I don't care what they or anyone else you talk to says, it's crap. Not even at the frozen pizza level....honestly.

3) They have the best damn fried walleye of all time. Plus, it's dirt cheap! For $7 you get four big fillets of walleye, waffle fries (that are delicious), choice of potato salad (good!) or coleslaw. Seriously, it's right off the highway and it's awesome.

This Thursday starts the Bears pre-season games. Is it that time already??

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hey Tubby!

My softball tournament in Troy, IL, near St. Louis, didn't go as planned. It was toasty hot and fairly humid, leading to a whole lot of sweating. We won our first game after some very shoddy defense 9-8. We lost our second game 9-7 after going into the last inning with us trailing 2-1. We lost our last game, I think, 18-16, with most of our runs (10 of them) coming from the other team. In this organization, the home run rule is one home run with the second one being an out. The third one is an out and a run for the other team. The fourth home run is an out and TWO runs for the other team. That means the other team hit 6 home runs! We didn't hit any! It ended up being a short day for us.

I weighed myself this morning and I'm to 198 from 194. Ugh. Somehow Ricardo and el supremo are to blame.

My internet connection went out on Thursday night/Friday morning. I tried to call and get support, but the tech support person didn't pick up until I was already in the shower after being on hold for 20+ minutes. It was my morning shower and I thought I could sneak it in before I was connected. Damnit. So how am I posting this entry? Get this, I hooked up my wifi, which goes through the same DSL box and it works fine. How can that even be???

Friday, August 01, 2008

Softball in St. Louis

Actually I'm in Troy Illinois, but it's close enough.

Had great seats for the Cubs game today and took Dejesus Freak. Had a good time, but the five hour drive afterwards was exhausting. Time for bed for me!!!